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Turkey Became Homeland Over Again

On the evening of July 15, Turkey lived such a terrible and significant event for the first time in its history. It was also an event which was unprecedented in world history.

Turkey Became Homeland Over Again

On the evening of July 15, Turkey lived such a terrible and significant event for the first time in its history. It was also an event which was unprecedented in world history. The coup attempt began around 10 p.m. when soldiers took over the Bosporus Bridge. At first people thought “there was a terrorist threat” but soon they found out it was a coup attempt. Soldiers who are supposed to fight terrorism and protect the people, attempted to stage a coup against the people.

During the night, the people and security forces put up an epic fight against the coup plotters, especially in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. Tanks were driven towards people. The F-16s conducted harassment flights. They bombed critical places, notably the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), and opened fire on people.

At first light, the people managed to repel the coup attempt. A multi-dimensional analysis of what happened will certainly take place but there is a lot to say about what happened in the heat of the moment, how the people didn’t leave the streets and didn’t give up the fight that night. On the night of July 15 to 16, Turkey was able to thwart the coup attempt by the junta inside the army thanks to its civilian forces, namely the people who took to the streets before the world’s eyes.

 People Protected Their Willpower

That night went down in history as a unique night, showing the superiority of the people’s patriotism, their democratic consciousness, and, of course, their bravery.

For this reason, July 15 was accepted as Democracy Day with a unanimous decision by all the parties in Parliament. What made people come out of their homes before President Erdoğan spoke and called people to the streets against the coup plotters, before it was even certain whether he was alive or not, was the consciousness of democracy. The disgrace and trauma felt by the people towards the history of coups, which began with the execution of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and his friends on May 27, 1960, urged them to protect their willpower.

A woman’s lamentation “My father cried for Menderes, and me for Özal. My children won’t cry for Erdoğan” expressed exactly this. The people attacked the tanks, the symbol of coups, with sticks as if they were taking revenge for Menderes, Özal, and Erbakan. They almost fought against the bullets.

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which wasn’t bombed even during the years of occupation and was never damaged during the coups until now, and which is the symbol of our democracy and freedom, was bombed by the F-16s controlled by the junta inside the TSK, on the night of July 15.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), put the “Fatih Mosque Was Going to Be Bombed” headlines into effect and made them no longer just a plan, which it published under the name of the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) Coup Plan and later paved the way for the purge in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). According to the action plans with the code names “Çarşaf” (Sheet) and” Sakal” (Beard), the bombing of the Fatih and Beyazıt Mosques was planned in order to create a coup atmosphere. It was planned to gather the angry crowd in the mosque courtyard, and for the people to create an uproar; this was to be followed by bloodshed. The media organ of FETÖ, Taraf newspaper had published such material, and all of Turkey was watching this in dismay. Today, we see that very similar things to what appeared in these news stories as plans, were carried out by FETÖ.

A Matter of Existence

After the people heard the voices of the prime minister and the president, and after they understood the nature of the event more clearly, everything changed. The people who took to the streets, almost fought against the FETÖ coup attempt alongside the security forces.

The FETÖ coup plotters attempted to occupy all the country’s institutions, with Istanbul and Izmir in the first place. The FETÖ coup plotters in military uniforms opened fire on civilians. They tried to do what they couldn’t achieve on December 17-25 and since that attempt, and thus take hold of the country. However, journalist Mustafa Cambaz, headman Mete Sertbaş, advertiser Erol Olçak and his son, Prof. Dr. İlhanVarank, non-governmental organizations, old ladies with prayers in their mouths, and everyone who rushed out to the streets with their bravery played a role in thwarting the coup. The azans which testified to us being Muslims, the media which is a must of democracy, politicians who stood against the coup without hesitating, and the persevering stance of President Erdoğan who said that “We set off on this road after wearing our shrouds” prevented the coup. Their bloody plans came to nothing.

Did what happened on the night of July 15 strengthen the self-esteem of the people? Turkey survived a crisis significant enough to contribute to its quality of being a nation. Surviving this crisis was perceived as a fight for independence by the Turkish people, and has been stored in the collective memory in this way. Every event which leaves such a mark on the collective memory, also feeds the ideal of unity and solidarity towards the future. It solidifies the consciousness of being a nation.

People taking to the streets from all parts of Turkey with only Turkish flags and without distinguishing political views, also proved that they saw the incident as a matter of existence.

July 15 with Regards to the Kurds

July 15, once again revealed the loyalty of the Kurds to Turkey. The Kurds who continued the democracy watch for days in the squares, in Diyarbakır, Batman, Urfa and all cities of the region, showed to the PKK and to other forces that are trying to push Turkey into civil war that they don’t have any problem with the principle of “one state, one country, one flag, one nation.” The democracy resistance of July 15, revealed that the Kurdish people are the fundamental component of the fight for independence, just as in the Battle of Gallipoli, and the War of Independence. In this regard, the July 15 resistance had a positive effect on our being an unified nation.

The negative propaganda which has been constantly going on for the past three to four years saying that “the society is polarized,” “the opposition and the government can’t come together even on the most critical issues,” was revealed as fabricated.

Although since 2013, Western actors have continuously targeted Turkey and have been trying to discipline the country with the discourse of democracy and human rights, there hasn’t been any decent criticism from these circles when there was a civilian massacre due to a coup attempt, and when the parliament was bombed. The credibility of the circles trying to keep Turkey within the Western axis has completely disappeared, and a new, independent route has opened in front of Turkey.

When we look at it from this perspective, July 15 will be the beginning of a period for new developments in both internal and foreign politics for Turkey.

The people saw this attempt not as a coup, but as an occupation attempt which will drag the country to civil war, and they prepared for FETÖ and all structures trying to destabilize Turkey by means of cooperating with it. After this point, it is vital to remove this organization, which infiltrated the government, from all institutions. Moreover, this coup attempt is a very crucial opportunity for this refinement.

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